Eagles, Testing Week

Beginning Monday, December 19th, testing week at Crossfit Mt. Laurel commences. And as far as I’m concerned, expectations are huge on my end. I’ve been hitting rather large PR’s as of late on the deadlift, snatch, and back squat.

This eight week cycle has been an absolute bear on my body both mentally and physically. Nonetheless, I’ve learned so much about the lifts, movements, and even myself. I’ve pushed my body to some serious limits these last two months.

In reality, I could use a solid break but that’s virtually impossible. I wish I could do these workouts seven days a week. That’s unreasonable because my temple would be destroyed. Nonetheless, I’m excited for test week. In my six+ months of being in Crossfit my gains have been tremendous. I’m not looking forward to the day when my PR’s become tougher and tougher to attain. We will see.

It’s been a rough year if you’re a Philadelphia Eagles fan, like myself. I can’t stand the NFL as a whole because I think they’re greedy barbarians who do not care about the well being of human beings. That can also be said for a lot of the players that play every Monday, Thursday, sometimes Saturday, and Sunday’s. But I love the Eagles, I do. Because they only play 16 games I get more excited to watch them then any other team in Philadelphia.

However, if there’s been one positive about the Eagles this season I’d have point in the direction of Carson Wentz. I respect and love this kid. Regardless of his last 6-7 games I still believe he will be one of the best QB’s in the National Football League for a very long time. Give him Dak Prescott’s offensive line, running back, and wide receivers and we’d have a much different record than what we all see now.

What impresses me most about Wentz is how he is off the football field. He pronounces his faith in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ any chance he gets and isn’t scared of it. He also doesn’t shove it down our throats. Something I try not to do either. He’s an incredible role model for all youth athletes and adults as well. He’s easily my favorite Philadelphia athlete and might be the most respected player in this town since Brian Dawkins.

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Photo: Philadelphia Eagles

Wentz will be just fine. I believe this because I’ve watched a lot of football over the years and haven’t missed maybe five Eagles games in over 20 years. Wentz will win this football team a Super Bowl. I firmly believe that. The North Dakota native reminds me a lot of Aaron Rodgers just not as egotistical.

Is #11 struggling right now? Absolutely. But please don’t read into the hate you hear in the media or from your friends. Figure out your own thoughts and opinions on what you see from the man on and off the field. He’s Peyton Manning in the sense that he will endlessly study this game and tirelessly study how to correct his weaknesses. He’s a student of the game. I’m not acting as if I know for a fact through my crystal ball that everything will be okay but I know that Wentz believes in himself and believe in God enough that hard work will get him through whatever needs to be done to be successful at this highest level.

He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises.” –¬†Romans 4:21 NLT

It’s been very hard for me to listen to sports talk radio the last few years because of the vitriol commentary that’s spewed by men who ‘think’ they have a right to judge, destroy, and tear people down and hope the masses join in on the hate. That’s sickening actually. It’s even worse when fans and good people decide to join in on the ‘fun.’

Why can’t we just sit back and enjoy that we are able to watch our favorite team and be happy when they win and upset for a few hours when they lose? Why does it have to turn into a bitter-fest for six days after? What do we gain or get out of it? Direct that energy to something positive. Not towards a freaking game. A game that we didn’t play or have any control over.

I digress.

Look, if you’re an Eagles fan be proud of that. We are a passionate group who show up no matter what their record is. And be patient with this regime. They have a lot to repair from the previous leaders. And we have Wentz, whom I believe in 100% to win a Super Bowl in Eagles green.

I mean how can you not love this guy after seeing things like this:

Prayer of the Day:

“Today I pray that I not fear change so much, but rather stay open minded for the new direction and welcome the surprises change brings.”

Bryce Harper vs. Mike Trout Argument

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Photo: MLB Images

It’s maddening to me the storylines I read on a daily basis re: Bryce Harper vs. Mike Trout: Who would be a better fit for the Philadelphia Phillies.

I understand the affection the baseball world has with Harper, I do. Nice hair, is a loud mouth (apparently a devout Christian but doesn’t show it through actions), Under Armour player, an awesome MVP season (one season), and ESPN loves him. That’s always a plus, right?

However, what I don’t get is how media and fans can actually sitback in their lounge chairs and tells the masses Harper would be a better fit for any team over Trout.

Trout is undoubtedly the best baseball player on God’s green/blue Earth and it’s not even close. He may go down as one the best 5-10 players the league has ever seen. MAY. His second MVP winning season in 2016 basically broke huge records. Just read about them. Here’s the scary part, he’s only going to get better barring any health issues.

I put significant stock into WAR (Wins Above Replacement) because I believe it is the closest tool to tells us who really is most valuable to their team.

Through six years in MLB Trout has a career WAR of 47.7 career WAR, while Harper sports a 22.2.

That tells me what I originally thought, Trout is more than double the player Harper is. From an all-around standpoint it’s even truer. Just watch them both play. Trout adapts, Harper doesn’t. Harper, I believe, thinks as if talent alone will push him through and history shows it never works that way.

Let me put this right real quick: I think Harper is ultra talented. He could be a hall of fame talent. He can. But I don’t think he works hard enough. Entering his age-25 season Trout expects to get his 1,000th hit, 200th home run, 500 walks, over 700 runs, and a third MVP. He’s still 24.

Imagine if Trout had any talent around him in the Angels batting order?

I’ve never seen a player have an MVP season slash line of .330/.460/.649/1.109 and follow that up with a .243/.373/.441/.814. That tells me two things: 1- Lazy preparation. 2- He’s a ‘between those numbers’ player. So, in my reality Harper is a slash line of .286/.416/.545/.961. And that’s me being kind because his career slashes don’t resemble that. They’re much lower.

I can’t stand argument from Harper fans that ‘he was playing hurt’ last year. Stop it. If it was that bad he wouldn’t have played 147 games. He just did not prepare for the follow up to an MVP season like ¬†an elite player should have.

After Trout’s 2014 MVP win he went out in 2015 and had a better season than 2014. A significantly better season. He knew his weaknesses and he fixed them.

In terms of contracts: Trout may actually be a cheaper option. He’s not represented by Scott Boras and he’s not as brash as Boras clients typically are. News broke this week that Boras and Harper are seeking a 10-year deal worth upwards of $400 million.

That’s just gosh darn ludicrous. It’s disgusting that MLB (or any pro sport) has reached this point where a pro athlete who works 7-9 months out of the year can earn more than any teacher, cop, or military personnel. Fans accept it because we are sheep. Sorry, but we are. Doesn’t make it an less ridiculous. These teams do not care about you or me. Just a fact. Start believing it. But if you enjoying cheering and buying blindly to these franchises then that’s your right. I enjoy going to the ballpark and watching baseball games, so I go. But I’ll complain when I want and when they deserve it.

But $400 million for a baseball player? Just stop with the greed. What do these men do with all these riches? Most of them rarely give back. And if they do it’s mandated behind the scenes for great PR.

Trout will most likely garner that same dollar attention but I don’t believe he’d reach the $400 million level. Trout wants to win. He cares about winning and that’s the sense I get from people around him. Would he turn down $400 million? Doubtful. But if he were offered $350-360 from the right team with a winning foundation built then I see him being fine with that.

There’s so much here that can still be discussed. However, a few things are clear. Trout is a much better player and there should be no denying that. If you’re tired of Trout I urge you to stop watching ESPN. Because they’ll kill everything and beat every dead horse. Harper isn’t the player he was in 2015, and may never be again.

Anything can happen and time will most certainly tell. For now, if you’re a fan of both guys then enjoy watching them because they are generational talents. They’re good for baseball for multiple reasons good or bad.

Prayer of the Day:

“Today I pray that I keep my feet on the ground but keep my eyes focused on the prize, to remain humble but reach for the stars.”

Crossfit and Supplements

What’s going on everyone. I hope this finds you recovering from a fun and plentiful Thanksgiving holiday. Although I am not a fan of turkey by any stretch of the imagination, I do thoroughly enjoy the holiday. Mainly because it all but ‘officially’ kicks off the Christmas season. Lord knows I adore Christmas-time.

One of the great things about the Thanksgiving holiday is it makes people like me want to work harder at the gym in the days leading up to turkey-day. Mainly because we all know 99% of us won’t care about carbs, fats, and sugars on this special occasion. For me, I have never gorged myself during the holiday season. I usually keep it simple and smooth with some wiggle room for bad snack nights. A bad snack in my world are thick sourdough pretzels from Snyders. (2 for $5 right now at ShopRite. Bags are family size. Can’t go wrong.)

Crossfit has been good to me lately as I’ve been able to hit a few PRs on lifts that have historically made me feel terribly weak. The snatch being one of them. I hit a new PR the Wednesday from to Thanksgiving and that sent me into a climax like stage for the holiday. Then Saturday morning (today) I not only PR’d on my Deadlift but repped that PR three times. I felt accomplished and strong, two feelings I rarely get to experience.

Now, I’ve never been a big supplement guy because I like to use what my body naturally produces. But since Crossfit is non-stop high intensity style workouts, I wanted to make sure I replenish my body prior and post workout and make sure I recover as quick as possible.

The two supplements I take are made by Xendurance. I loved the ratings this company had with their stuff and a couple crossfitters who I deeply respect (Josh Bridges being one of them) vouch for the company.

1) Xendurance Recovery Protein. – Chocolate

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Photo: Xendurance

 

It’s a 2lb bag that can either be purchase through their website (posted above) or even through Amazon. It tastes great. There’s zero after taste and I personally feel the effects are near immediate. There’s not much lag time. I usually feel destroyed after my workout but within 15 minutes of drinking Xendurance Protein I’m ready to go about my day feeling strong again. I fully recommend this product.

2) Xendurance Creatine- JB

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Photo: Josh Bridges’ Twitter (bridgesj3)

This was a supplement I was always weary of. However, I did extensive research, talked to some specialists, and trainers within the Crossfit community all around the nation and the general opinion was: Take it!

So, like any good student, I listened to the pro’s. I dump a full scoop of Xendurance Creatine into my Progenex shaker bottler filled with 8oz of water and drink away. This occurs immediately prior to my workout. You can purchase this product here. I have already seen the results over the last two weeks and it’s gotten me pretty pumped up (no pun intended). Again, none of these supplements will work if your nutrition is garbage. No supplement makes up for a piss-poor diet. Diet is almost everything (80%) when is comes to muscle growth and lifestyle. Your body fuels up based on what you put in it. Just remember that. It’s not a difficult concept. Just will power and a will to succeed. I fall down often but I hop back on that perch, recognize the issue, and attack.

I despise excuse-ridden people. I don’t have time for it. And they shouldn’t either. There’s still so much work to be done ahead of me and I’m not even close to satisfied. But I’ll get there. I don’t know when. But God does. And I just have to follow His lead and do all of this for His glory.

Okay, I have four days remaining in my 20s. I have nothing planned. I’m content. I want to attend my workout classes this week and go about my business into my year 30. Trust me, the best is yet to come.

Prayer of the day:

Today I pray that I remember I don’t have to be perfect. I just have to be the best me I can be today. I’ll worry about tomorrow tomorrow!

Harry Potter turns 15 and ramblings

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Google

Wednesday, November 16th, marked the 15th anniversary of the theatrical release of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.¬†

How cool and at the same time horrible is that?

It’s cool because we, as Potter fanatics, get the chance to celebrate a day dedicated to HP. It’s horrible because it’s already been 15 years! I was almost 15 years old when the movie hit theatres. Oh well, the ol’ freight train of life.

Nonetheless, I’m in the middle of the second book and just bought the third. Can’t wait to get to it. Morgan and I have also began re-watching the movies again. We just wrapped up with Prisoner of Azkaban. Hoping for a weekend viewing of Goblet of Fire.

BUT, Saturday night at 7pm, yours truly and the fiance will be witnessing Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them! 

We are elated and jacked up for this movie. It looks visually stunning and Rotten Tomatoes gave the film a 100% rating. Which is unbelievable. As visually masterful Doctor Strange was/is, I believe the prequel to Harry Potter will be that much better.

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Warner Bros. 

After watching this movie I hope the love I have for Potter world seeps into Beasts. It has that special feeling. The masses should come out to this one, especially those who love magic and Potter.

I turn 30 in just under two weeks, however, I’m not bringing that up because of my birthday. I’m strictly declaring this because of the Holiday season. I adore Christmas time. I really do. Especially being a Christian this season means the world because I can celebrate it for what it truly is here for. I don’t get wrapped up in the commercializing of the season because I love it for what it’s supposed to be celebrated for. Christ.

It bothers me how people use Christmas as a strictly gift-receiving selfish time of the year. If you’re not a Christian or a believer, why celebrate the Holiday? Honest. Again, that’s my take. There’s no secondary reason for Christmas as there’s no alternate celebration for it. It may be controversial or insensitive to say but it’s just factual.

For many years it’s how I celebrated it. I’m not a hypocrite. I didn’t celebrate Christmas the way I should’ve. I didn’t have the right to say I ‘love’ Christmas season because I didn’t love it for the reasons why it was even created. Odd.

Now, Christmas and Easter mean the absolute world to me. Which is really cool.

Also, Christmas music. I begin integrating holiday tunes into my playlists on September 1st. That way by the time 101.1 More FM in Philly switch to all Christmas music 24/7, I’m ready.

UPDATE: 2PM TODAY, 101.1 MORE FM PHILLY FLIP TO ALL CHRISTMAS!

I wanted to make this short and sweet and to throw something up there. This weekend I’ll shoot out a post on Fantastic Beasts and my week in Crossfit which has been insane in terms of PRs and movements. I’m not a bodybuilder nor am I trying to look abnormal. Simply trying to be balanced and fit. Doing my best and could be doing better.

I’ll also show everyone the supplements I take daily for the pre, during, and recovery of my body destruction.

Much love to everyone! Have a good rest of your week and I’ll catch you all this weekend.

Prayer of the Day:

Today I pray that I’m less judgmental of others. My past mistakes make me unfit to judge. I’ll start by judging me and my behavior.

Work hard stay humble

The (current) banner on the site is also the title of this post. It’s been a hectic last seven days or so but I’m happy to get a little time to send a post out.

I wanted to wait until the election was over before posting anything. The amount of hate in this country has reached a new low and it’s very sad. People of this nation have forgotten the sacrifice that came before us that have given us so many freedoms. It’s a disgrace what the people of this country continue to do to each other, in protest, and through media. I’m not sure I’ll see advancement and maturity in the human race in my lifetime. And that’s sad.

I’m looking forward to the next four years under new leadership. Donald Trump is my President as of January 20th 2017, and he deserves my utmost respect and confidence.

Crossfit has been wild as of late. The new cycle has been punishing my body. And I’m perfectly okay with it. Tonight, I had to find my 5 rep max on the back squat and I just wasn’t feeling it today. Or at least I thought so.

I was able to find that 5 rep max at 225lbs. I’m positive I could’ve went up to 240 but the (3) WOD for the night was a sprint (3 Wise Men) so I had to dial it back. Nonetheless, I was more than happy with 225lbs. My strength continues to rapidly go upward and my numbers are showing that. I can’t explain how but I’m assuming it’s the work ethic during the week, the stretching on off days, and the constant studying of the movements.

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Onnit

I just have work hard and stay humble. That’s all I can do. God continues to give me this ability to battle and push the limits so I’m going to give Him all the glory and keep going.

Adrenaline plays a key role as well. ūüėČ

For those in the crossfit world and would like to wear some of the gear that I wear around head to the following places: Rogue Fitness, Caffeine and Kilos, Crossfit(dotcom), and Progenex. Those are the ones I’ve had the privilege to represent.

This cycle has been my favorite thus far. I dig the deadlifts, bench, and back squats. Looking forward to more and more gains. Crossfit has become such a huge part of my life and makeup and I have to thank Morgan for continually pushing me to go and get better.

Onto pro wrestling. Just a few points here and it’ll be all over the place.

  • Is there anyone more over right now in pro wrestling than Chris Jericho? Over the last year the future WWE Hall of Famer has gotten four new catchphrases completely over with every city and every crowd. This may be bold but I don’t think there’s been anyone in the history of WWE that been able to reinvent themselves and read the business of pro wrestling and its fans like Jericho. He’s easily top 5 of all time in my book.
  • I really hope there’s a payoff for Seth Rollins. He’s undoubtedly the best performer in the world right now and I want the WWE to reward him with something huge. I’d like to see a Royal Rumble victory followed by a top-notch Wrestlemania match. Sure, he’s only 30 and isn’t even in his wrestling prime yet, but the world of wrestling these days moves fast and he needs to be on top for many years to come.
  • What in the world is the WWE doing with Brock Lesnar for the long-term? I honestly think creative have thrown their hands up in the air with his character. They’ve backed themselves into a corner with how they’ve booked him. He can’t be beat. Logically. The latest rumor has Shane McMahon facing the Beast at Wrestlemania. WHY?! What’s the point? There’s absolutely zero story there and no chance of Shane O’ Mac logistically winning unless he cheats or there’s a run-in. If creative doesn’t have anything ‘believable’ for Lesnar it’s best to send him home until they do. #PagingBobbyLashley
  • As of this writing my two choices for the Royal Rumble winners are John Cena or Finn Balor with the latter being my first choice. Balor may be a long shot because of his injury. However, they could have Balor enter at #30, win, and not be physical on TV until closer to Wrestlemania. Cena, on the other hand, will win championship number 16 at the company’s biggest show of the year. It’s time. It’s been talked about for over a year and storylines have kind of been left open for Cena to plug himself right in to face AJ Styles for the title.
  • It’s a shame what’s become of Dean Ambrose. If it weren’t for the greatness of Styles the former Shield member would probably fall by the wayside as a performer. He gets almost no reactions on TV from the crowd and has a very stale character. I think Ambrose is tremendous if booked the right way. Sorry WWE, Ambrose is not a white-meat babyface. He’s anti-authority and rugged. And can talk on the stick if allowed to be himself. Who does that remind us of? Hmm. Ambrose needs to find himself and then reinvent his character. He needs a fresh overhaul and I don’t think he’ll find it on Smackdown.
  • Lastly, what in the world is being done to Bray Wyatt? The Wyatt Family is still intact (YAWN!) and now creative had this grand idea to add Randy Orton to the ‘family.’ Wow, Orton, the 12-time WWE Champion is now playing piggyback with Wyatt on a week-to-week basis. Orton used to be one of the most hated heels in the entire world and now he’s been deemed irrelevant. I don’t understand. Again, like Lesnar, if you don’t have anything legitimate for him, send him home.

Oh well, I’m tired. Time for a protein drink, meal, coffee (WAWA decaf), and Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets. I’ll be back in a couple days. Hope you all have a great weekend and I’ll catch you down the road.

Prayer of the Day:

Today I pray that I remember, when things aren’t going my way, it’s still going Gods way and it may be teaching me valuable lessons! Father, bless and protect our men and women in the military who everyday sacrifice themselves for our freedoms. They are the backbone of this nation. Amen!

-Chris

A public plea to youth baseball

It’s no secret that youth sports has taken a significant attendance hit over the last decade. Kids just simply aren’t interested in being part of something. Anything. Unless, of course, it’s digital and has a controller.

The sport with the biggest decline since 2007 has been baseball. America’s pastime.

“Since 2007, according to data¬†from the Sports & Industry Fitness Association (SFIA), the number of kids from¬†six to¬†12 years old who play baseball¬†has fallen from 5.44 million to 4.34 million. Baseball¬†is not alone in suffering a decline.”

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“A¬†falloff in youth baseball participation is an early warning of¬†losses among adult fans. Seventy-nine percent¬†of avid baseball fans played the sport at some time in their life, according to data from Luker on Trends, a researcher, provided by the league That rate is higher than in other sports. “Baseball is not immediately obvious to people that haven’t played it,” says Chris Marinak, MLB’s senior vice president of league economics and strategy, whose job includes reviving¬†the amateur game.

“The people who really enjoy and appreciate the game are the people that have more of an intimate knowledge of the sport.”

It’s an alarming stat and a tough one to debunk. I’m probably biased, and so will a majority of my demographic (25-30), that growing up there was really only one sport to play from a team oriented standpoint and that was baseball. It was everywhere, every week, and with everyone. It was a way of life and it was tremendous. We didn’t know anything else. Little League and beyond was how it went for millions of families.

Kids rarely played football (thank God kids still are deciding against it. Good call, parents) even to today in 2016. Basketball was more of a recreation sport as was soccer.

Like Major League Baseball, I’m trying to figure out where it all went wrong. When did this trend begin? And most importantly, why?

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Photo/ESPN

Furthermore, what I decided to do rather than simply give you my opinion (don’t worry, I will) I reached out to friends on facebook who gave their own thoughts on this hot button issue.

Matthew McCoog:¬†Too many other sports, kids ‘specializing’ in sports, baseball is comparatively more difficult and changes more as kids grow. Baseball is a lot more boring to watch, and families don’t sit around and watch/listen to a game together anymore.

Vansen Roberts: High quality baseball and instruction has disappeared from a majority of small in town rec baseball leagues.Baseball has become a middle-upper class sport in my opinion. Accessibility to good coaches and playing opportunity has become a privilege afforded to those have the spare income. If you want good coaching and competition you are shelling out a minimum of a thousand dollars to play travel ball. In a small community like ours, rec ball is almost non existent due to rising costs and lack of competition in home town leagues.

Kyle Higgins:¬†Because it’s not easy. Too much of a learning curve and kids/parents don’t have the patience to improve

Rich Miranda:¬† I think it’s a plethora of things starting with Coach/parent involvement. I’ve seen first hand where parent coaches will bury other talented kids so their kid always looks like the best player. Additionally kids are smart so when they see this happening they start to feel unimportant, after all, so and so will do it. Which in turn bores them and they drop the sport. I disagree about cost because lacrosse which is America’s fast-growing sport has much higher costs and many towns offer little to no assistance to offset the cost because it’s still new to many places, yet like I said fastest-growing.

Dean Holzapfel:¬†Because it’s “easier” to make it in other sports. You could spend 10 years bouncing around the minors and never see the majors and barely make a dime. Look at football and basketball they people who they don’t even know that can play.

Matt Matzer: It’s not just little league baseball that is suffering it is most rec leagues….. I will even go to say that most school sports suffer as well! Technology has advanced so far that kids would rather play sports on a video game online with their friends then actually go out and play it. Our generation video games were still somewhat crude¬†compared to now and if you wanted to find your friends you had to go out and find them outside. Corner street hockey, whiffle ball, street basketball are all things of the past to kids! Funding for rec leagues have also taken a hit with the way the economy took a shit I mean towns do what they can but seriously look at whomsley there is no money there none. It’s a shame it really is! I can’t blame major league sports for technology-era kids not going outside.

Ryan Zeilman: It’s¬†actually the coaching quality and how leagues function. A lot of leagues give in to higher quality baseball to combine with little league so then little league begins to diminish. Those leagues that were “higher quality” become watered down talent and very expensive for a similar experience you would get at little league but the kids become uninterested by then and either chose to play other sports or not at all. A lot of it comes down to the quality of the coaches. Most coaches are working dads and dads today are working much later than in the past and cant really work with their kids even if its at home or on the side. The game is very difficult and nearly impossible to just jump into unless you have natural gifts of athleticism.

Jason Miller:¬†The main problem is most kids are living in single parent homes. That parent has to work to give them their needs. It is difficult with work to drive him to all of these practices. Plus kids have technology, they don’t know how to even have conversations face to face.

Danielle DeDomenico:¬†There are not many quality coaches out there. And when there is a quality Coach, parents remove their kids from that team and develop their own team for their child to be the “star” player. Instead of being an average in a great organization and learning the correct way, they would rather be the best player on the worst team. That’s how I felt at my high school when I played softball there and that is exactly why I left to go to west because I wanted to be better for when I went to college.

Those were just a few of the responses I received on this topic. As broad as this issue the responses varied which is what I was seeking. I was happy to read different, even surprising views on why kids aren’t playing youth baseball or any youth sport for that matter. Some I agreed with and others I completely disagree with but my opinion didn’t matter. I asked the public and they responded greatly.

Here’s a public plea from me. Someone who’s played baseball for 24 years and has coached, trained, and umpired since the age of 14. Keep parents and politics as far away as possible. Honest. That’s the issue. Only 1% of the population will be pro baseball players, if that. There’s a 99.999% certainty that your child will not be Mike Trout or anything remotely close to that. I’m not saying to be harsh and this coming from sour grapes, just facts.

Is the sport expensive? Yes. However, it’s not nearly as expense as hockey, lacrosse, or even football. I believe coaching plays a major role but as does favoritism, hence, the constant conundrum of politics. As a player, coach, brother, umpire, and fan of the sport, I believe parents and politics are what is ruining the youth sports leagues around the nation. I truly believe kids want to play or at least give it a try. But there’s corrupt people running these leagues and it’s been a downward spiral since the late 2000s.

Can it improve? Of course. Life is cyclical. As with everything else these leagues and people who run them need to adapt or leave because this affects the kids more so than it will ever affect us.

More to come…

Quotes: Bloomberg (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-07-14/a-million-kids-stopped-playing-baseball-mlb-wants-to-win-them-back)

The Kid comes full circle

Thursday was a fantastic day. A day I’m sure no baseball fan expected.

MLB The Show, Sony’s exclusive MLB game for Playstation, revealed their cover man for the upcoming 2017 video game.

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MLB The Show/PlayStation

Below is an excerpt from PlayStation regarding Junior gracing the cove:

“Destined for greatness, no player entered the Big League with more hype than the first pick of the 1987 MLB draft, and no player entered baseball‚Äôs Hall of Fame with a higher percentage of the vote than ‚ÄúThe Natural.‚ÄĚ A legend both on and off the field, ‚ÄúThe Kid‚ÄĚ inspired a generation of baseball fans with electric play, a contagious smile, enviable flair, and a swing that‚Äôs been imitated but never duplicated for almost three decades.

Almost twenty years since his last appearance in a baseball video game, Ken Griffey Jr. returns to the digital diamond as the cover athlete of MLB The Show 17.”

Not since 1999 has Junior Griffey graced the cover of a MLB video game. Most of us over the age of 20 remember the greatness that was KGJ video games of yesteryear.

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Photo: Google

Things have come full circle I’d assume for Griffey. After earning the highest voting percentage (99.3%) in the baseball history to get into the Hall of Fame, Griffey had his number 24 retired in Seattle and will now grace the cover of PlayStation’s most prestigious and exclusive baseball game.

If you need any details surrounding the game and it’s packages for the March 28th, 2017 release, be sure to go to¬†HERE¬†and pre-order now ūüôā

It’s been a crazy 2016 for yours truly as well. Just to recap here: another fun baseball summer with my Monarchs squad, moved out on my own, engaged to the love of my life, baptized, attending my lifelong dream of witnessing Griffey get inducted in the hall with my dad, and now this. I can’t thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ enough for what He’s provided for this undeserved soul.

This game is going to cost me many nights of sleep. And I can’t wait for it. It’s pretty amazing that in this day in age where there’s a plethora of superstar talent in MLB that someone like Junior would get the cover.

Most fans thought guys like Anthony Rizzo or Kris Bryant were shoe-ins to nail the cover honor. MLB The Show teased fans saying we’d all be ‘surprised’ and ‘stunned’ with whom they picked to hit the cover. It was revealed Thursday morning and fans nationwide embraced it. #TheKidIsBack was the number one trend on Twitter for the US. And Griffey was the number two trend.

Well, I’m going to ride off into the sunset. I’ll hope to post something again by Sunday evening. Talk to you all then!

Prayer of the Day:

Today I pray that I relax and let today happen. I can’t control all of it so I’ll wait for chances to make a difference. Today is a gift.¬†

Bad days occur

Over the last few days I’ve been down and out. And I can’t seem to pinpoint how and why which is the worst part of the healing process.

Now, to each their own in terms of how people perceive depression to be validated or not depending on one’s circumstance. Everyone battles through situations differently and nobody should be judged on how or why they feel down. We are imperfect human beings who suffer from time to time with some obviously being worse than others.

I battled depression for two years. I’ve discussed this at length on my podcast ‘High and Tight’ on Olio.fm a couple different occasions. It’s not fun. In fact, it sucks. It truly stinks.

Why?

Because for me I knew how incredibly blessed I was but I couldn’t see the forest through the trees for nearly 24 months. For a long time I never looked at it as depression but more like feeling sorry for myself. That’s immensely wrong.

Simply put, I wasn’t myself. I strived to look like someone I’m not. I strived to be people I’m not. I concerted strenuous hours on my appearance. I hated how I looked from an athlete standpoint (neck down). I obsessed over looking like a meathead. And I didn’t understand then and I don’t understand now why I was so hyperfocused on it. Maybe I thought that’s what women enjoyed or that’s the ‘gold standard’ of how you should look.

I also had the fear that if I didn’t transform my body then I’d automatically be unhealthy and would die young.

Okay, yes, I had bouts of delusion and crazy. I get it. I see the light now haha. This current ‘down period’ will swiftly move along and pass but there are just blips in time where I feel as I used to feel. Not fun but I have the grace from God and His promises to remind me how special I am regardless of what the enemy repeatedly tells me.

Moving on, I can’t explain why the last few days have been so bad. I can honestly say it may be because I’m not playing baseball. The spring and summer are such a gratifying and satisfying time for me because I’m in my element almost everyday. I’m praying that my second job (Diamond Academy) helps with the baseball hunger during the offseason.

Other than that things have been great. Looking into the mirror lately has been tough but I’m working on the confidence level. Helping out my church has been fantastically gratifying. Being involved in something greater than you or I is what we are all called to be part of. There’s no better feeling than helping and guiding others. Especially the youth. It’s special man, it’s humbling.

Just wanted to pop in with a new post about something that’s been on my mind. Sorry so short and loaded with random cliffhangers.

Prayer of the day:

Today I pray that I remain positive no matter what the day throws at me. I’ll look for the blessings behind every obstacle.

Weekend Mayhem

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Photo Credit: VisitPhilly

In 2016, quiet weekends have been hard to come by for ol’ yours truly. They’ve been fun, nonetheless. This past weekend qualifies as one of the ‘exciting’ ones.

Things kicked off Saturday up in Chestnut Hill PA for the Harry Potter Festival. After finally finishing all eight legendary films (major cliffhanger in the final film if you ask me) Friday evening I was jacked up to hit the festival Saturday afternoon. The ride up there felt like the longest 50 minutes as the route was slow and maze-like. However, I enjoy the sights of Chestnut Hill so it wasn’t too bad.

Parking a near two miles away from the festival was bad. It was 45 degrees with 30mph wind gusts Saturday so the walk was less than exhilarating. I had Morgan with me so it wasn’t too shabby. Oh, and we were with 15,000 other HP fanatics as well.

What I loved most about this event were the age groups. It’s great to see adults continue to live out their dreams, fantasies, and passions. To any high school kid who’s worried about expressing themselves through their passions remember this: Probably 95% of those people will be insignificant in your life soon enough. Forget and delete those who don’t support you and your passions. I never had an issue in HS or even in college, but I know kids who have suffered. Be good, listen, be respectful, and be yourself. Keep a small circle of trust in school and out of it. You’ll thank me for that advice down the road someday.

I’m a very humble dude. Some say too humble. Since I was young I’d always put my passions on display. Whether it was my favorite sports team, player, wrestler, or even brand (Affliction, Criss Angel, Caffeine and Kilos, ROGUE) I never gave a sh*t what people thought of me. Not one single person. I don’t change for anyone. I have a select group of friends and they love me for me. If I changed they’d ring me on it.

While walking through Germantown Ave. with thousands of Potter fanatics, I realized that imagination is alive and well in 2016. In a climate full of hate, racism, and judgment, some things continue to bring people together and it’s special to take witness to. Whether people were distracted by the poorly planned and coordinated even I don’t care. It was encouraging to see people my younger, same age, and older dressing up and having a great time with not a care in the world.

We need more of those times.

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Photo: Google

After the HP festival we came home to chill out, eat a great dinner, and watch a movie. So, I chose ‘Now You See Me.’ I had heard great things about the flick but had never seen it. Watched it and my goodness it was fun. Great cast, well put together, and funny. On Sunday night we watched the second one which came out early 2016 and I thought it was better than the original. Daniel Radcliffe was a solid addition to the sequel. Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman were tremendous in both films. Those two are bonafide legends and two of my favorite actors of all-time.

Sunday was a beautiful day. After worshipping and listening to the word of God, we finally were able to get to Johnson’s Farm. It was packed but it wasn’t too bad at all. It was cool seeing kids and their families picking pumpkins that were in some cases bigger than the kids. Funny stuff. Got our first pumpkin together, apple pie, and some darn good warm apple cider (which I’m sipping on now as I type.)

We were able to catch the second half of the Eagles-Vikings game. Was phenomenal to see the Birds bounce back in a huge way to serve Minnesota their first loss of the season. Now, it’s time for Dallas. A rivalry restored with the superstardom of both Carson Wentz and Dak Prescott.

This weekend taught me that there’s other things in life to do other than sit in all day and watch football. It’s just lazy to me. It was fun being active and being out doing things. Don’t get me wrong I adore Eagles Sundays but thankfully it’s no longer the end all be all for me. And it shouldn’t. If there’s somewhere to go whether free or not and it can create a memory, go do it! God, life is so short. Make every moment count. Honest.

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Photo Credit: SyFy

Found a new TV addiction Monday. The Magicians¬†on¬†SyFy.¬†It’s a darker Harry Potter mixed with some sex, language, and a little bit of steroids. It’s fantastic. And the fact that¬†SyFy¬†created a show like this is even more unbelievable. The special effects are tremendous and the storyline is compelling. With each episode the story and characters build more and more steam. Season 2 will commence in January, I believe.

If you want to watch season one in its entirety head to SyFy’s¬†website or download their free app in GooglePlay or iTunes.

Thanks for reading all! I’ll check you all down the road,

Chris

Magic and Harry Potter

harry-potter-wallpapers-hdOver the last two weeks or so I have delved head first into the world of Harry Potter. Just for fun, I’d like to let everyone know that yes, I understand that I’m extremely late to broom party seeing as the original Potter film was released back in 2001. And it’s approaching six years since the final film was released.

When it comes to franchises like Potter. And even Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, etc., I’m apparently the last one to hop aboard the popularity train. I like what I like and I usually stick to that. That said, my fiance asked if I wanted to sit down and finally watch the great iconic film series known as Harry Potter.

“Sure, I think I’m ready,” I said to Morgan.

“Great! Would you rather start with the books or go straight to films?,” she asked.

“I think I’d much rather shoot for the movies so I can read the books after and compare,” I replied.

And that’s how I am. I’m backasswards with things. No matter who it was I have always been directed towards the books before even thinking about watching the films. I’d rather watch what I’m getting into before reading seven 500+ page books.

Again, that’s just how I am. (Side note: I’m about to start book number two as of this writing.)

My infatuation with magic and illusion probably sparked my appreciation and interest in Potter. I’ve been a prodigious fan of magic since I was a kid. The suspense, mystery, and act completely takes me out of reality and helps me believe in the impossible. Yes, even after knowing it’s not necessarily reality. Much of it is fake but the presentation and creativity is the drawing card.

Fast forward to 2006 when I stumbled across the greatest magician who ever lived, Criss Angel. Found the show MINDFREAK and instantly became hooked. Still am. It’s remarkable what Angel does on an everyday basis for his craft. It’s unprecedented. He’s been a role model for me for over a decade now and if you read his book you’ll see some reasons why I say that. He helped me realize it’s OKAY to be who I want to be and not give a giant crap of others opinions. Because they don’t matter.

It’s why I’ve never been judgmental towards anyone in terms of their beliefs, fashion, or interests. Just be you. Always. We are all much better off that way in the long run. Ultimately, it’s what God wants from us. To be who He created us to be. We are individually plucked out and giving special gifts. We are created to be different. Find what it is that makes you happy and roll with it. I spent many years trying to be someone I wasn’t. It was mentally draining and stressful. I couldn’t take ti anymore and I was creating a delusional universe where I didn’t belong.

To be completely honest with everyone, I didn’t figure myself out until as recent as a few years ago. I had to surround myself with the right friends and people. I finally figured it out.

Back to Potter.

As of this writing I still have to watch the final two films before I can attend The Harry Potter Festival Saturday afternoon in Chestnut Hill. Part of me bears excitement while the other part of me weeps with sadness that it’s all ending. Thankfully, I still have five remaining to read. I’ll milk that out as long as possible.

Okay, heading back to structured life for a few more hours. Crossfit tonight at 5:30 as I look to hit 70% of my one rep max on the Split Jerk. Wish me luck.

Oh, then it’s too many handstand pushups, toes to bar, double unders, and rows.

I’ll write a post reviewing our experience at the HP Festival hopefully by Sunday evening.

Eagles Prediction:

Eagles win 23-21

Prayer of the Day:

Today I pray that I give each issue time to work itself out, not making rash decisions or quick-fixes. Everything will be alright, in time!